Publishing Details

Publication Type: 
Book Chapter
Authored by:
Beddow, Jason M.; Pardey, Philip G.; Koo, Jawoo; Wood, Stanley
Edited by: 
Alston, Julian M.; Babcock, Bruce A.; Pardey, Philip G.
Publisher: 
Iowa State University, The Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC)
Publication Year: 
2010
Book Title: 
The Shifting Patterns of Agricultural Production and Productivity Worldwide
Page Range: 
8-38
Publication Place: 
Ames, IA

Abstract

As we do in this chapter, giving more explicit attention to the spatial dimensions of agriculture and how they change over time deepens our understanding of the production and productivity performance and potential of this sector. The following section begins by presenting a broad assessment of changes in the global footprint of agriculture over the past three centuries. Agriculture is continually on the move, and this spatial volatility has profound implications for how productivity metrics can and should be interpreted.

Consideration of explicitly spatial patterns is useful, but additional insights can be gained by conducting analyses across meaningful spatial aggregations. Such spatial aggregations summarize certain attributes of space that affect agricultural production and productivity. For example, assessing production in terms of geopolitical aggregates is helpful since national or subnational borders help delineate the boundaries of economic, political, and social factors that affect the production choices made by farmers and other decisionmakers. However, geopolitical boundaries provide a poor proxy for agroecology. Thus, a more complete view of agricultural production can be developed by placing production in both geopolitical and agroecological space, as we do in Sections 3 and 4, respectively. Since movements in the footprint of agriculture necessarily imply underlying changes in the natural and socioeconomic factors that drive productivity, thoughtful interpretation of differences in a productivity metric across time or space requires consideration of the extent to which such changes might or might not be captured by that metric. Therefore, these assessments provide grounding and context for the discussions of productivity in the remainder of this volume.

Citation

Beddow, Jason M.; Pardey, Philip G.; Koo, Jawoo; Wood, Stanley (2010) "The Changing Landscape of Global Agriculture," The Shifting Patterns of Agricultural Production and Productivity Worldwide, Iowa State University, The Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC).

Additional Attributes

Primary Contact: Jason Beddow
Keywords: Agricultural Production, Agricultural Productivity, Agro-ecological Zones (AEZ), Crop Production, Cropland Area, History, Land Resources, Maps, World